Q: What is the difference between an Affidavit of Heirship and Application for Determination of Heirship.
An Affidavit of Heirship is used when there is no Will, filled out/completed by two disinterested witnesses, and then the affidavit is filed with the real property clerk. The affidavits are used to transfer property to the rightful heirs after the owner's death.
An Application to Determine Heirship is used when there is no Will and a Court is needed to determine who the heirs are to an estate. Witnesses will be required to give oral and written testimony as to the personal and family relationships of the decedent. The Judge will sign a Judgment stating who the rightful heirs are to the estate.
An Affidavit of Heirship is signed by two witnesses who will not inherit but knew the decedent well enough to swear to marital and family history. It is sometimes also signed by one or more heirs. It is filed in the county deed records. It does not pass title/ownership of anything.
An Application for Determination of Heirship and Issuance of Letters of Administration is a probate court filing asking the court to determine who are the heirs under Texas law and appoint someone to settle the estate. That person can file a Distribution Deed transferring title/ownership.
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